Number Talks: I can show a number in lots of ways.
In Autahi, Thursday is Number Talk day when we get to start the day with some really rich thinking and talking about a mathematical problem or idea.
In Autahi, our Number Talks often begin with a question or a picture, but older children in the school might also look at a diagram, equation or graph. This starting point will be spark for collaborative problem solving.
This week, we began with a number and a lot of different maths and other equipment. How many ways could we show a number using the things we had to hand in class? Sharing our ideas helped us to find many solutions to this problem.
By participating in Number Talks, children learn to articulate their mathematical thinking, sometimes clarifying it along the way. They get to hear other children's ideas, building on them to extend their own thinking. They also develop the vital understanding that there are many ways to approach a problem.
In planning our Number Talks, teachers think about what the 'big mathematical idea' is that they would like their students to encounter. But during the Number Talk, it is the teacher's role to step back and be a facilitator and recorder, rather than to lead the discussion.
In Autahi, we are developing the skills of listening to other people's ideas and wonderings, taking time to think (and allowing others that time), knowing when to share, appreciating people's contributions and responding to them. This time, after sharing some initial ideas, everyone had the chance to experiment with the equipment to make their own number. Sharing our ideas gave us lots of inspiration.
This was a problem with many solutions. How many different ways to show our numbers can you see? Can you think of any ways we didn't try?